Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On the Dead, Dr. Seuss and Corn Pops

When I was seventeen I withdrew my college tuition money and bought a plane ticket to California to see the Grateful Dead for New Years Eve. We actually saw three shows that trip. Yes, I know, it was a long strange trip, but now I will be turning thirty - seven in a few weeks, and yesterday, almost twenty years later, I have finally forgiven myself for diverting and taking a different road. A beautiful friend of mine was telling a story the other day, I don't even remember what story, but something clicked for me. I am no longer the girl I was when I was seventeen. I have been building a new road, instead of merely following one. Today I am in college, and a mighty fine one at that, and have an amazing life. But would I have known exactly how amazing had I not experienced hardship? It took me years to realize that, although my mom only bought us healthy low sugar cereal, I could as an adult, purchase a box of Corn Pops, no questions asked. Often as I travel through my day I take the well traveled road; it is safe, well lit, and paved. Sometimes however I just need to take a detour and fumble along a dirt path, fall over, get a few scrapes and eventually make it back to the main road. But the woman who has taken the tumbles is better equipped when a pothole turns up.

With that metaphor completely overused I turn to my cat, Chaucer, or Chompers as my son has named him. Eleven pounds of naughtiness wrapped up in fuzzy orange fur. Last night he ran through the house, a winter hat in his mouth, jumped up onto my lap, and deposited the "gift." This was the second gift of the day, the first, his toy mouse left on my pillow. I had buried the real one earlier in the evening. If this cat can take time out of his busy day to present me with gifts, acts of love on his part, then maybe just maybe I am worthy of those gifts. And maybe just maybe it is ok that I took the dirt road for a few twenty or so years. And maybe just maybe I am ok. It has been a long strange trip. Sometimes it just takes me longer to realize that everything is exactly the way it is supposed to me. So for now, I'll keep truckin'.


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